Navy issues warning on Y2K Trojan horse

The Navy Computer Incident Response Team warned Navy and Marine Corps computer users worldwide that an e-mail attachment masquerading as a utility to check a system's readiness for the Year 2000 date rollover could contain a virus.

The message, NAVCIRT Advisory 99-045, sent last week, said the so-called Year 2000 readiness programs are carried as an attachment to an e-mail message that may claim to originate from Microsoft Corp. or other well-known PC vendors. "Some of these programs have turned out to be Trojan horseseprograms that claim to or appear to do one thing, but actually carry a hidden routine which is executed without the users knowledge," the warning stated.

The NAVCIRT message added that at least one of these Trojan horses hidden inside a seemingly harmless Year 2000 utility "carries deliberately malicious routines designed to corrupt or delete data in a user's computer."

Navy and Marine Corps computer users "should leave Y2K evaluation to the network administration personnel tasked to perform that function and users are reminded that programs distributed by e-mail must be considered suspect," the message stated. NAVCIRT also advised users that "antivirus software cannot be depended upon to detect a Trojan horse program, the best protection is simply to never install or run any program received as an e-mail attachment."

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